Charleston artists wins North Charleston Arts Fest 2023 poster competition

The city of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department announced Christopher Dotson of Charleston as the winner of the 2023 North Charleston Arts Fest Poster Design Competition.

Forms in a Landscape | Christopher Dotson | Acrylic | 2023 | Click image to enlarge.

As the winner of the statewide contest, Dotson’s acrylic painting, titled Forms in a Landscape, will be used to promote the 2023 North Charleston Arts Fest, taking place May 3-7. In addition, the artist was awarded a $500 cash prize and the piece has become part of the City of North Charleston’s Public Art Collection.

Forms in a Landscape was one of 62 entries from 33 artists working in 12 cities across South Carolina that were submitted for consideration for the 2023 North Charleston Arts Fest Poster Design Competition. The “hieroglyphic” painting contains symbols that represent different animals, plants, and forces in nature, creating a world that is organic, spontaneous, and mysterious.

“Raindrops, dew drops, and tears swirl their way through a landscape that is filled with colorful life,” Dotson explains. “Everything is unbound, but every form is linked to the other forms around it. Each form has its own identity, but every form is the genesis of the idea for the forms that surround it. It is an ecosystem.” Much like the other works in his Natural Instincts series, the painting was made to be experienced, not understood.

“Above all else I want to create beauty in a pure form. Nature is the inspiration for that,” Dotson said.

Dotson earned a BFA from Appalachian State University in 1996. His paintings have been featured in a number of juried and group exhibitions throughout Charleston and Boston as well as on the CBS series “Reckless” and the Netflix series “Outer Banks.” He is currently represented by Mary Martin Gallery in Charleston. Learn more about the artist at

A collection of Christopher’s paintings works will be on display at Park Circle Gallery (4820 Jenkins Ave., North Charleston) May 3-27, 2023. The exhibit will feature Forms in a Landscape along with several other recent works in acrylic and oil. Admission and parking are free. The public is invited to meet the artist at the gallery at a free reception on Friday, May 5, 2023, from 5-7 p.m. T-shirts and posters featuring the winning design will be available for purchase during the festival.

For more information about the North Charleston Arts Fest or other competition and exhibition opportunities, contact the city of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843.740.5854, email, or visit